Saturday marked 35 weeks of pregnancy and Sunday I celebrated my twenty-third birthday! I went out to dinner Sunday night, with Andrew to one of my favorite restaurants, LaScala’s Fire (so good). I also celebrated with my best friend Danny, with a perfect lunch; I feel insanely lucky, loved, and thankful this week and I’m looking forward to a year filled with new beginnings. Our home renovations are looking incredible (so much hard work on Andrew’s part) and I’m loving the pieces I bought for the nursery. I voted this morning and I urge everyone to do the same! The world needs a positive, influential change and that change starts with you.
The older you become the more you realize when it comes to love; you will start to ask yourself a few, simple questions…
What do I deserve? What do I expect? What should I put up with?
What do you deserve? You deserve unconditional love, loyalty, and laughter. The person you’re with (or, the person you’re searching for) needs to love you for who you are, be loyal and honest always (communication and trust is everything), and they need to be capable of making you laugh and smile, even on the dark days. I can tell you from personal experience that sex and passion are incredible, but what gets you through the trying days is having someone by your side who helps you, listens to you, and encourages you. You need a partner who lifts the overbearing weight from your shoulders when you need relief. For example, my family and I endured a lot over the summer and Andrew stood by not only me but my family too, through all of it. I knew months before then but was reminded during that rough, stretch of time that Andrew is my soulmate. He has never left my side and I would stand by him through sickness, financial struggles, and heartache. Through my pregnancy, he has been my constant support system, has spent hours creating a beautiful nursery for our baby, pulled an overnight at the hospital with me when I was in pain, and he’s always ensuring I’m happy and healthy. When you’re young you envision the person you’re going to spend forever with as attractive, wealthy, and strong. We grew up watching our favorite princesses fall for their prince charming (always being rescued), but in reality, we deserve so much more than just good looks, charm, and money. We also aren’t damsels in distress, but at times we do need support and a shoulder to lean on. As you grow older (and hopefully wiser), your priorities will change and you will then realize what you deserve.
What do you expect? Love isn’t simple or easy, despite how beautiful it can be. You need to know what to realistically expect from the person you fall for. Living with a person and seeing them at their worst and at their best can change your expectations. It won’t always be butterflies and bottles of champagne! There will be late nights, early mornings, messes on the floor, piles of laundry, disagreements, and financial issues. If you’ve found your soulmate, don’t fear the messy moments, because you will both get through each day with lessons learned and a greater appreciation for each other. Love is about accepting your partner for everything they are and everything they aren’t. You knew they weren’t perfect from the moment you went on your first date and leaned in for that magical, first kiss. I never expected perfection from Andrew and yet, he has brought so many perfect, breathtaking moments to my life, without even trying.
What do you put up with? I want to blatantly say “You don’t put up with anything” and sound completely in control, but that isn’t realistic. We will never be in full control, which for most of us, is a hard truth to grasp. There are aspects to any relationship that we can put up with and aspects that aren’t okay and shouldn’t be ignored. Does your lover snore? Does your lover leave clothes on the floor after taking a shower? Does your lover curse more than you’d like (some of us find that sexy)? Those little annoyances are manageable, normal, and nothing to cry over. Yes, in the moment we may yell over dirty dishes and clothes on the bathroom floor, but at the end of the day, it’s all about accepting each other and picking our battles. No one is perfect (including me)! If you’re putting up with issues that are far greater than tiny messes and a little cursing, than you need to address those issues, or simply walk away from the relationship if the issues are causing you pain and anxiety. Issues such as lying, cheating, abuse (verbal or physical), disrespect, addiction, hoarding, manipulation, or dangerous financial issues (gambling, spending total income on drugs, or another, unhealthy hobby) shouldn’t be ignored. You shouldn’t put up with anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or anxious. If you find yourself saying “I put up with my significant other” more than “I’m happy and in love with my significant other” than it’s time to move on. As I’ve said before, it’s unhealthy to continue watering a dead flower…invest in a new plant!*
In honor of my birthday Sunday, I want to talk about a few of my favorite stores at the moment for presents (birthdays included), cold weather fashion, and pre-holiday planning! Are you stressing over what to buy your loved ones for the Holidays (already)? Money is tight this time of the year (you’re not alone), so plan ahead and shop around! It’s also smart to give yourself a budget and stick with it. I love Marshall’s for birthday presents, holiday gifts, and seasonal essentials. It’s a great place to find a present for just about everyone on your list from kids, men, women (of all ages), and your parents! I love designer goodies and especially during the Holidays, Marshall’s is filled with designer finds. Sometimes, it takes more than one visit to the massive store to find everything you want. Take your time and start shopping!
Victoria’s Secret and PINK are perfect for holiday shopping and for any pregnant mamas (such as me); their clothing is not only cozy and comfortable, but as a mother-to-be, or a new mother, you can still rock sexy, lounge-wear and sporty looks. Also, if you’re pregnant and planning for the hospital stay/post-baby clothing, invest in new bras, a pretty robe, and looks to wear around the house and on casual outings. I will be home with Greyson before I know it, enjoying the colder months in our cozy place, and I’m still going to live in pretty clothes (duh) while remaining comfortable! Fashion is everything to me; I want to say to all of the new mama bears out there, and to those preparing to give birth (like me), you can still dress cute and wear your favorites while home with your new baby. You’re not dead and life’s a party…dress like it.
I’m investing in some new, cozy pieces from Alicia DiMichele Boutique, which is in Marlton, New Jersey (you can also shop the boutique online). Again, the clothes from there that I’m obsessed with right now are cozy, comfortable, AND cute. The colder months allow you to dress up, but also layer up and enjoy dressing more casually (lounge-wear, sportswear, and lots of sweaters). Why do you have to choose between comfort and cuteness? The answer is, you don’t have to. I always choose both!
I’m in love with animal print, grey, and layering right now. The weather is finally cold enough to show off our favorite, fall essentials, such as scarves, boots, and cardigans. I love a layered look, with loose waves or curls, a statement handbag, and fall makeup. I’ve been doing a dark, smokey eye with a lighter lip color the past couple of weeks, but I also love a dark lip (burgundy, purple, chocolate brown). Lastly, I want to give a shout out to Alex and Ani! If you’re looking for a gift for a lady in your life, shop Alex and Ani; the bracelets have meaning, are affordable, and they make a true statement. I love wearing all of my Alex and Ani bracelets, with each one possessing its own meaning. They’re pretty, trendy, and simplistic. I’m all about them.
Good luck with all of your gift buying this season and with pre-holiday planning! If you’re simply on the hunt for pretty finds for your own closet, check out some of my favorite stores and fall for new, beautiful merchandise! I wish everyone a gorgeous week and make sure you rock the vote today! Xx
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